Monday 16 December 2013

2013: honourable mentions

We're not too far away now from unveiling our top 5 albums of 2013 but we were immersed in so much good music throughout a bumper year of releases, it was only right that we acknowledge some of the music we may not have had the chance to earlier on this blog.  If you've yet to do so, please check out the following releases and definitely let us know if you think we missed any!

‘Be My Monster Love’ by David Murray Infinity Quartet [Motema Records]
In the year that’s seen Motema Records celebrate its tenth year putting out incredible jazz music, they can also boast a brand new release from famed saxophonist David Murray and his Infinity Quartet, and their album, ‘Be My Monster Love’.  Featuring lyrics written by Ishmael Reed and Abiodun Oyewole, and vocal contributions from Macy Gray and Murray’s former label mate, Gregory Porter, who guests on a staggering three tracks: this album is exciting, vibrant and if there was room for a SIXTH place on our ‘best of 2013’ list, this album would’ve swiped it.  (The inlay card also features a short story penned by award-winning crime novelist, Robert Wilson, entitled ‘A Dangerous Kind of Love’.)

‘Sound The Alarm’ by Booker T [Concord Jazz]

Following his 2011 album, ‘Road From Memphis’, Booker T Jones returns in fine form, this time with the help of The Avila Brothers who helm much of the disc’s production.  Boasting an all-star cast including Mayer Hawthorne, Estelle, Anthony Hamilton, Sheila E and Vintage Trouble, along with production assistance from Terry Lewis & Jimmy Jam, and guitar work by Raphael Saadiq on a handful of tracks - ‘Sound The Alarm’ delivers some of the year’s best songs including ‘Broken Heart’ and ‘Your Love is No Love’.

‘Broadway’ by Myron & E [Stones Throw Records]
Produced by and featuring Finland’s awesome band of musicians, The Soul Investigators, the vocal R&B duo flourish with a distinctly exquisite soulful sound that has heralded them as one of the genuinely well-received surprises of the year.  TheBlueInGreenBlog was thrilled to have caught up with Myron Glasper for an exclusive chat about the album in October of this year, so click here for the full read:

‘Say That to Say This’ by Trombone Shorty [Verve Records]

Following what could be described as Trombone Shorty’s breakthrough album, ‘For True’ in 2011 (featuring heavy-hitters, Lenny Kravitz, Ledisi and Kid Rock), ‘Say That to Say This’ is a decidedly low-key affair – by no means a bad thing as this is brilliant.  Produced by Raphael Saadiq, the album’s highlight comes in the form of Trombone Shorty’s cover of ‘Be My Lady’, originally by The Meters and, here, featuring The Meters.

‘Lady’ by Lady [Truth & Soul]
Truth & Soul struck gold with the seemingly random pairing of the UK’s Terri Walker with the US’s Nicole Wray, and teaming them with musicians from Truth & Soul and Daptone Records, led to a true throwback Motown-esque sound with all the youthful vibrancy of the genre’s architects.  The album proved to be a breakthrough success so hopefully the team will capitalise on this soon enough.  Click here for our full album review:

‘Time to Do Your Thing’ by Zbonics [Membran]
Zak Najor, drummer for Greyboy Allstars, assembles a dream team of artists, including saxophonist Karl Denson, guitarist Melvin Sparks and singer Gregory Porter, who appears on five of the album’s 14 tracks.  Apparently created over several years, this very contemporary-sounding, funky soul/jazz release is a definite standout of the year.

‘Sometimes Too Much Ain’t Enough’ by The Excitements [Penniman Records]

I picked this one up based on liking the album cover – more retro good-timed and up tempo soul music with Spanish band, The Excitements and their American lead-singer, Koko-Jean Davis.  This is actually the group’s second album – the first having been released in 2010 which I’m yet to get so have some catching up to do as well.

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